7 Places Around The World That Need Our Prayers This Week

7 Places Around The World That Need Our Prayers This Week

"...But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
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It is apparent that our world is in a state of disorder and turmoil, as it has always been. The issues evolve, but the amount of need and pain stays the same. I often feel helpless in offering solutions to these global problems. While donations, mission trips and words of encouragement are very beneficial, they can only go so far. But, I believe that I hold the most powerful weapon against worldly sorrow ever created: prayer. God has granted me this beautiful ability to offer up not only my cares but the cares of an entire planet, to Him. It is up to me to utilize that gift in faith that God hears and sees His children in their suffering. If you would like to join me in lifting our world up in prayer and supplication, here is a list of places around the world that currently need our support.

1. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, FL

On February 14, 17 students and faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL were shot and killed by 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz. Pray for comfort for the survivors, the families of those who have lost loved ones, and for the wisdom to know how to best prevent school shootings across the United States.

2. Eastern Ghouta

Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus, is under attack by the Syrian government and has been wiped out almost entirely. An airstrike on February 23 killed 32 people, taking the death toll for this week to over 400. There is a shortage of food and clean water, and the death tolls are only escalating from both war weapons and hunger. Pray for peace over Ghouta as well as food and water resources for its people.

3. Mogadishu, Somalia

On February 23 in Mogadishu Somali, two car bombs planted by an Islamic extremist group exploded killing 18 people and injuring 20. Pray for the families of those who died, the quick and complete recovery of those injured and the eradication of terrorism in Somalia.

4. The Democratic Republic of Congo

Congo has been a war-torn country for many years, but combat has only gotten bloodier in recent months between Congo and other nearby militaries. Hundreds of thousands of Congolese people are fleeing their homes in the villages to avoid being slaughtered. Pray for a stop to the bloodshed of both soldiers and innocent people, and for rescue and provision for those who have fled.

5. Puerto Rico

While the rebuilding of Puerto Rico after hurricane damage last year is well on its way, there is still much to be done. Many people fled Puerto Rico, uncertain if they would be able to find work. Even for those who stayed, finding employment is hard. Puerto Rico has lost 4.2 percent of its jobs since September. Pray for employment opportunities for Puerto Ricans both inside and outside the country, and for the rebuilding of Puerto Rico to continue.

6. Kutupalong Refugee Camp, Bangladesh

An unknown number of Rohingya refugees were injured when an elephant crashed through the Kutupalong Refugee Camp. The Rohingya are a persecuted people group from Myanmar. Although there is talk of a negotiation for the Rohingya to return to Myanmar, many fear they will have nowhere to go because the Rohingya villages were burned down. Pray for the injured refugees and for the shelter of those attempting to return to their home country.

7. Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, LA

On February 23, two people were injured in a shooting at Southeastern Louisiana University. They are in the hospital with life-threatening injuries. Two suspects have been arrested. Pray for the complete healing of the two injured and ensured safety for the rest of the university.

Meditating on tragedies is incredibly difficult. It can begin to stir up feelings of hopelessness and doubt. But, God promises that He has overcome the world! (John 16:33) God's goodness and light outshines the ever-present darkness. Let us remember this as we pray earnestly and act boldly for our world today.

Cover Image Credit: Ella Pitman

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Dear Senator Walsh, I Can't Wait For The Day That A Nurse Saves Your Life

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

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Dear Senator Walsh,

I can't even fathom how many letters you've read like this in the past 72 hours. You've insulted one of the largest, strongest and most emotion-filled professions.. you're bound to get a lot of feedback. And as nurses, we're taught that when something makes us mad, to let that anger fuel us to make a difference and that's what we're doing.

I am not even a nurse. I'm just a nursing student. I have been around and I've seen my fair share of sore legs and clinical days where you don't even use the bathroom, but I am still not even a nurse yet. Three years in, though, and I feel as if I've given my entire life and heart to this profession. My heart absolutely breaks for the men and women who are real nurses as they had to wake up the next morning after hearing your comments, put on their scrubs and prepare for a 12-hour day (during which I promise you, they didn't play one card game).

I have spent the last three years of my life surrounded by nurses. I'm around them more than I'm around my own family, seriously. I have watched nurses pass more medications than you probably know exist. They know the side effects, dosages and complications like the back of their hand. I have watched them weep at the bedside of dying patients and cry as they deliver new lives into this world. I have watched them hang IV's, give bed baths, and spoon-feed patients who can't do it themselves. I've watched them find mistakes of doctors and literally save patient's lives. I have watched them run, and teach, and smile, and hug and care... oh boy, have I seen the compassion that exudes from every nurse that I've encountered. I've watched them during their long shifts. I've seen them forfeit their own breaks and lunches. I've seen them break and wonder what it's all for... but I've also seen them around their patients and remember why they do what they do. You know what I've never once seen them do? Play cards.

The best thing about our profession, Senator, is that we are forgiving. The internet might be blown up with pictures mocking your comments, but at the end of the day, we still would treat you with the same respect that we would give to anyone. That's what makes our profession so amazing. We would drop anything, for anyone, anytime, no matter what.

You did insult us. It does hurt to hear those comments because from the first day of nursing school we are reminded how the world has zero idea what we do every day. We get insulted and disrespected and little recognition for everything we do sometimes. But you know what? We still do it.

When it's your time, Senator, I promise that the nurse taking care of you will remember your comments. They'll remember the way they felt the day you publicly said that nurses "probably do get breaks. They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day." The jokes will stop and it'll eventually die down, but we will still remember.

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

Please just remember that we cannot properly take care of people if we aren't even taken care of ourselves.

I sincerely pray that someday you learn all that nurses do and please know that during our breaks, we are chugging coffee, eating some sort of lunch, and re-tying our shoes... not playing cards.

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Dear Nancy Pelosi, 16-Year-Olds Should Not Be Able To Vote

Because I'm sure every sixteen year old wants to be rushing to the voting booth on their birthday instead of the BMV, anyways.

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Recent politicians such as Nancy Pelosi have put the voting age on the political agenda in the past few weeks. In doing so, some are advocating for the voting age in the United States to be lowered from eighteen to sixteen- Here's why it is ludicrous.

According to a study done by "Circle" regarding voter turnout in the 2018 midterms, 31% of eligible people between the ages of 18 and 29 voted. Thus, nowhere near half of the eligible voters between 18 and 29 actually voted. To anyone who thinks the voting age should be lowered to sixteen, in relevance to the data, it is pointless. If the combination of people who can vote from the legal voting age of eighteen to eleven years later is solely 31%, it is doubtful that many sixteen-year-olds would exercise their right to vote. To go through such a tedious process of amending the Constitution to change the voting age by two years when the evidence doesn't support that many sixteen-year-olds would make use of the new change (assuming it would pass) to vote is idiotic.

The argument can be made that if someone can operate heavy machinery (I.e. drive a car) at sixteen, they should be able to vote. Just because a sixteen-year-old can (in most places) now drive a car and work at a job, does not mean that they should be able to vote. At the age of sixteen, many students have not had fundamental classes such as government or economics to fully understand the political world. Sadly, going into these classes there are students that had mere knowledge of simple political knowledge such as the number of branches of government. Well, there are people above the age of eighteen who are uneducated but they can still vote, so what does it matter if sixteen-year-olds don't know everything about politics and still vote? At least they're voting. Although this is true, it's highly doubtful that someone who is past the age of eighteen, is uninformed about politics, and has to work on election day will care that much to make it to the booths. In contrast, sixteen-year-olds may be excited since it's the first time they can vote, and likely don't have too much of a tight schedule on election day, so they still may vote. The United States does not need people to vote if their votes are going to be uneducated.

But there are some sixteen-year-olds who are educated on issues and want to vote, so that's unfair to them. Well, there are other ways to participate in government besides voting. If a sixteen-year-old feels passionate about something on the political agenda but can't vote, there are other ways of getting involved. They can canvas for politicians whom they agree with, or become active in the notorious "Get Out The Vote" campaign to increase registered voter participation or help register those who already aren't. Best yet, they can politically socialize their peers with political information so that when the time comes for all of them to be eighteen and vote, more eighteen-year-olds will be educated and likely to vote.

If you're a sixteen-year-old and feel hopeless, you're not. As the 2016 election cycle approached, I was seventeen and felt useless because I had no vote. Although voting is arguably one of the easiest ways to participate in politics, it's not the only one. Since the majority of the current young adult population don't exercise their right to vote, helping inform them of how to stay informed and why voting is important, in my eyes is as essential as voting.

Sorry, Speaker Pelosi and all the others who think the voting age should be lowered. I'd rather not have to pay a plethora of taxes in my later years because in 2020 sixteen-year-olds act like sheep and blindly vote for people like Bernie Sanders who support the free college.

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